Vergennes Police Log: City police receive recognition for DUI help

VERGENNES — Vergennes Police Department’s Drug Recognition Expert Jill Grant twice recently helped Vermont State Police with driving-under-the-influence-of-drugs cases.
In a March 24 case, according to Police Chief George Merkel, Grant offered guidance to VSP in their Middlesex barracks over the phone. Merkel said the DRE provided questions and procedures to VSP on the phone call that enabled VSP to gather enough evidence to require a DUI-drug suspect to submit to blood testing.
The other case, Merkel said, came on March 19 and was more typical: Grant went to VSP’s New Haven barracks to evaluate a suspect.
Vergennes police also were kept busy between March 19 and 25 with late-winter enforcement of the city’s December-through-March ban on overnight parking on its streets. During a snowy week police issued a dozen tickets to violators of the wintertime ban, which expires on March 31.
In other action between March 19 and 25, Vergennes police:
On March 19:
• Spoke, along with school officials, to a Vergennes Union High School student who brought a vaporizer to school; police said he was unaware there was nicotine in the product he was vaping, and they and school officials asked him to speak to a counselor.
• Went to McKnight Lane in Waltham to look into a complaint that someone had looked into a home through a window in a door; police said they found no footprints in the snow in what was the second time they had responded to a similar unfounded complaint at the home.
• On behalf of the Addison County Sheriff’s Department, cited a resident for driving with a suspended license.
On March 20:
• On behalf of Shelburne police, unsuccessfully tried to find an acquaintance of a DUI suspect.
• Calmed a child custody dispute at a Hillside Drive apartment.
• Helped Richmond police by taking a statement from a city resident.
• Dealt with a dog-barking complaint on North Maple Street.
On March 22, took a complaint from a Northlands Job Corps student that he was being bullied; according to Northlands officials the student was being terminated for being disruptive and for being ineligible for program participation.
On March 23:
• Issued a motorist tickets for speeding and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia at a West Main Street traffic stop.
• Helped conduct a lockdown drill at VUHS.
• Responded for a third time in the past two weeks to a noise complaint at a North Green Street apartment; police spoke to the landlord.
On March 24, cited Kelley Zilembo, 35, of Bristol for DUI and failing to yield at a stop sign. Police allege her blood-alcohol content tested at 0.124 after they stopped her car for failing to honor a stop sign at the junction of New Haven Road and Route 7.
On March 25:
• Found a debit card while on patrol and attempted to contact its owner.
• Responded to a complaint of a violation of a restraining order; police said the complaint was false, but stood by while an individual retrieved belongings from a West Main Street residence.

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